Ethnic relations in Singapore

Community development personnel and organizers should develop some cross-cultural programmes for children and youths in local settings. Opportunities Opportunities have to be created and at the same time be spotted. Some recent events which allow such opportunities to strengthen the bond of all these ethnic groups will be: The recent National Day Rally, Prime Minister Goh Chok Tong4 has sliced this opportunity to urge the Malay community to keep up the good work and continue interacting with other races.

5 This has reaffirmed the minority group that they are not being left unnoticed for the effort they put in. The Fabric of Nation5 which is a project proposed by Channel NewsAsia to remember Singapore’s recent resilience is a national activity whereby all individuals are encouraged to contribute their own personal piece of patchwork and on the day of 23 Aug 2003 is the day whereby all these pieces of testimonies will be stitched to form a giant tapestry. Threats

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The external global issue on Islamic Revival6 has brought much of attention to the world. The sign of individuals showing hostility towards the Muslims are becoming more obvious and Singaporeans Muslims too cannot run away from the fact that other racial groups has begin to segregate away from them especially after some negative events such as the September 11th tragedy and the arrests of Jemayah Islamiah as they are perceived as the negative fallout on ethnic relations.

(Refer to article: Religious tolerance begins at home) Growing careless and insensitive referencing to race, culture and religion Theoretical Framework Ethnicity is a pervasive reality therefore Singapore being a relatively small nation we ought to preserve the very precious asset of what we call the racial and religious harmony and in order to preserve such peace and tolerance among these racial groups there are certain factors that we need to look into such as:

The minorities should never be taken for granted and whereby the Group Representation Constituencies system is there to ensure a multi-racial Parliament and that The Presidential Council for Minority Rights is able to represent the minority group whereby its interest will be safeguarded. Each ethnic group is allowed to preserve its heritage and develop its own character within a national framework. For example, every religious group enjoyed the freedom to respect the rights and freedom of other religious groups. Here is where the Presidential Council for Religious Harmony steps in to ensure religious tolerance was preserved.

The government too will provide funds for cultural activities of the different races, the maintenance of heritage centers and support community self-help groups. The government has to act in a firm, fair and honest manner so as to win the heart of their citizens and to reaffirm them that they will look into the interest of all individuals and willing to debate openly various sensitive issues so as to educate the people and allow grievances and views to be heard openly such as the Forum page in The Straits Times.

The government has to follow a pragmatic and non-ideological approach in solving problems. Any group must not misuse ethnic autonomy to promote chauvinism, nor should it endanger racial or religious harmony, or threaten national, political, economic or international interests. This practical approach helped to solve many problems in a way that no group is at a disadvantaged and all are encouraged to seize equal opportunities.

It is when according to Maslow’s Hierarchy of Human Needs that the message been clearly defined and credibility is being formed it is able to maintain (Newsom, Turk, Kruckeberg 2000:204) . Lesson learned The brutality of the inter-ethnic war in Sri Lanka which illustrates the dangers of racial and linguistic conflicts is difficult to control once they are let loose. What Sri Lanka experience is that the initial problem over race and language need to be solved quickly, before they grow larger and more complex and become intractable.

Another example will be the protracted conflict in Northern Ireland that illustrates the dangers of religious extremism. 1 Survey statistics taken from the Institute of Policy Studies July 2002 2 Survey statistics taken from the Institute of Policy Studies July 2002 3 Article: Little interracial mixing: a cause of worry? 4 Article: PM Goh shares ‘Community of Excellence’ vision for Malay community 5 6 Name : Marie Chen Hui Juan Class : RHM2-16P I. C : S7810597/F Student No. : 12912P.